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Ride-hailing company ‘received preliminary approval’ for licensing process before being told to shutter operations

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 21,2019 - Last updated at Mar 21,2019

AMMAN — Jeeny, a smartphone application for ride sharing, on Thursday said they had been facing problems getting their licensing requirements approved, a few days after officials agreed to shut down ‘unlicensed’ ride-hailing apps.

 “We [Jeeny] completed all the requirements set by regulators and we are fully ready to proceed and obtain the licence. We are now waiting for the authorities to accept our documents.” Hammad Ehtesham, chief operating officer of Jeeny Middle East, said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

“We have received the preliminary approval to move on with the licence; we have invested an additional JD200,000 to fulfil the licence requirements but sadly we received a notice on March19 to close down our application and operations in Jordan within one week.” Ehtesham added in the statement.

Abla Weshah, director of the Land Transport Regulatory Commission’s (LTRC) media and communications department, said there were only two licensed ride-hailing companies in Jordan — Uber and Careem.

“There are two other companies that have applications on the app store but they are not licensed and this is why concerned authorities were asked to block these two apps,” Weshah told The Jordan Times Thursday.

In its statement, the company said international investors have invested more than JD2 million through Jenny into the Jordanian market, creating thousands of jobs and supporting the development of the transportation sector in Jordan. 

Jeeny also runs its regional operations for the Middle East from its Amman office and currently employs 60 Jordanian employees, according to the statement.

“Jeeny plans to further expand to different geographies and sectors in Jordan and thus attract new foreign investments to the country,” it said in the statement.

On Tuesday, the Lower House’s Public Services and Transport Committee reached an agreement with the ministers of interior, transport and ICT to “shut down” all unlicensed companies that transport passengers via applications, and in accordance with demands from the “yellow taxi” owners.

The decision was made during an emergency meeting, chaired by MP Khaled Abu Hassan, head of the committee, along with Interior Minister Samir Mubaidin and Transport Minister Anmar Khasawneh, as well as representatives for the “yellow taxis”.

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